The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) would like to congratulate and recognize it’s 2015 outgoing senior class: George Alukal, Shireen Hamza, Minnal Kunnan, Quinn Maingi, Rachel Moon, and Russell Potter. Each senior recognized here debated for RUDU for at least one tournament in the 2014-2015 season, with most of them debating in previous years as underclassmen.
Hailing from Hillsborough, George joined RUDU in 2013 as a sophomore. While on the team, he served as Novice Mentor in 2014. His debate successes include breaking to varsity out-rounds at Carnegie Mellon (2015) and ranking as one of the top 5 novice teams at the NYU Invitational (2014). After graduation, George will be joining Chase bank in their risk management division. One of his biggest causes while on RUDU was the removal of all laws, but only during evening hours.
Shireen joined RUDU in 2011 as a freshman. She found success soon into her novice career, ranking as the 4th highest speaking novice at UPenn (2011) and going 4-1 at Swarthmore Novice (2011), the best record of all RUDU teams at that tournament. Shireen was heavily involved in the Rutgers and New Brunswick communities. She was a founding member of Food for Thought, a group meant to foster dialogue between residents of New Brunswick through the sharing of free and nutritious meals, and an active member of Verbal Mayhem, Rutgers’ slam poetry team. After graduation, Shireen will begin doctoral studies at Harvard University in the history of science. She is an avid mountain hiker, with a greater affinity for hiking up than hiking down.
Minnal joined RUDU this year while on an exchange program with Rutgers from his home university of Cal Poly. Despite being new to American Parliamentary debate, Minnal was able to utilize his past experience on the BP, CEDA, and NPDA circuits to break multiple times, including a tournament win at Swarthmore ProAms (2015). In addition, he had success on the NOTY board, finishing as 20th NOTY (2015) and winning 1st Novice Speaker at Vassar (2014). After leaving RUDU, he will finish his 5 year computer science program at Cal Poly. A proud Californian, Minnal arrived at Rutgers during the start of NJ’s brutal 2014-2015 winter without a coat of any kind and a single pair of flip flops.
Quinn joined RUDU in 2011 at the urging of his high school friend and RUDU President emeritus Chris Bergman. He is leaving the team as the most successful debater in RUDU history. Quinn’s debate accomplishments include finaling at Nationals (2014), back-to-back Nationals semis appearances (2014-2015), 4th TOTY (2015), 5th SOTY (2015), 3rd NOTY (2012), and 10 career final round appearances (2011-2015). Quinn also served the team as President (2014) and Treasurer (2013). After graduation, Quinn will work at the Philadelphia Federal Reserve. When not debating, Quinn can be seen fraternizing with his stuffed animals and a pet cactus he named “Cobos”.
Rachel Moon, colloquially referred to as “Moon”, joined RUDU in 2012 as a freshman. Moon broke to several varsity out-rounds while on RUDU, including a final-round appearance at the University at Albany (2014). Moon also served as the Public Relations Chair of RUDU in 2013. Rachel was active throughout the Rutgers community, serving as the chairwoman of the RUSA allocations board and as a Gardner Fellow. After graduation, Moon will be moving to Pueblo, Colorado as a Teach for America corps member. Her enthusiasm for most things is eclipsed by her enthusiasm for spaghetti.
Russell joined RUDU in 2011 as a freshman. Since then, Russell has racked up many debate successes to his name, such as 16th TOTY (2013) and tournament wins at Vassar (2012) and Dartmouth (2014). In 2015, Russell served as Tournament Director of the largest tournament ever held by RUDU. After graduation, Russell hopes to pursue a career in business and coach debate. Over the span of his debate career, he has come up with approximately 72,673 case ideas and counting.
Congratulations to the graduating and outgoing RUDU class of 2015! We appreciate everything you all have contributed to the team and look forward to seeing what you all will accomplish as alumni of the Rutgers University Debate Union.